Montefiore - 100 Years of Excellence
Sir Moses Montefiore was the most widely known Jewish leader and philanthropist of the 19th century. Born in Italy on October 24, 1784, he spent most of his life in England, marrying into the Rothschild family, achieving great wealth, becoming sheriff of London, being knighted by Queen Victoria, and using his money and influence to protect his fellow Jews from the rulers of the Ottoman and Russian empires. Celebrations of his centennial birthday were held worldwide. In New York, an invitation from the Congregation of Shearith was sent to the most distinguished members of the New York Jewish community to attend a meeting on February 4, 1884 for the purpose of taking steps to mark the approaching 100th anniversary of Sir Montefiore’s birth.
At the meeting, proposals included new housing for immigrants, a school, a reformatory and a home for incurables. The committee decided upon “The Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids”. With no time to build a facility before Sir Montefiore’s birthday in October, the Trustees signed a 4-year lease for a frame house on the corner of 84th Street and Avenue A. The house could accommodate 25 patients and was full from the start. By 1889, a new home opened to 140 patients in a stone structure built on Broadway at 138th Street. By 1909, the area which had been the “outskirts of the city” was becoming closely settled and neighbors complained about the patients. The Trustees decided to move once again, this time to the northern most border of The Bronx. In 1913, the home was moved to 9 buildings on 13 acres between Gun Hill Road and 210th Street and remains after 100 years.
Harry M. Zimmerman, MD Archives, Montefiore Medical Center
Montefiore Fine Art Program and Collection
Office of Development